Welcome to our new-look summer newsletter, which will help to keep you up to date with all the news at Woodsmoke.
The Woodsmoke team have been in full swing this summer and are currently in the height of our busy season. The season has been crammed with a myriad of diverse and successful courses allowing us the meet lots of new folks and catch up with some familiar faces.
Werner has been over to visit again, running his annual Bow-Making weekend, which saw six ash trees transform into a dozen beautiful hunting bows.
Also of note was our 4th Expedition Skills Training, which was held at the Eastnor Castle’s Land Rover Experience Centre in Herefordshire. A big thank you to LRE for once again providing valuable sponsorship in the form of vehicles and excellent instructors. Also thanks to the guys and gals at Eastnor for making it happen, to Dave at Bush Mechanics and to Wilderness Medical Training for their superb training.
The twenty or so folks attending the course loved the no-nonsense blend of extreme off-road driving skills, vehicle maintenance, wilderness bushcraft, and remote first aid training – next years course will be held at the same venue at the end of June.
Social Network Group
Our new Ning Bushcraft Social Network Group is proving to be popular with folks are starting to post photos from courses, inspirational blogs and skills videos. It’s definitely worth checking it out – if only for the footage of Ben sinking on the ambitiously christened ‘HMS Woodsmoke’ backwoods catamaran! Come on... Join the Tribe!
Final call for Aboriginals!
We have decided to rest the Aboriginal course next year, so if you are really keen to test your skills you should think about getting involved this year, as the next course won’t be until October 2011 - and for those who fancy the ultimate challenge, we will be opening a few slots for a Solo-Aboriginal – a difficult but incredibly rewarding challenge! Book you place now...
Last minute cancellation places
The other last remaining places for this season are late cancellations that we are happy to offer at a reduced cost - We have 2 places on the late August Trailbreaker Course at £125 (£100 off) and similarly 1 place on the Aug./Sept. Woodlander Course
at £445 (£100 off). To book these places simply chose to pay the 'Balance' option to get your last minute discount. You can book online here...
We have recently posted our dates for next year’s courses, and by resting the Aboriginal course, 2010 will see the return of the Nomad Course (with a new cross-Lakes route) – this course is bound to fill fast – so if you are interested, get in touch.
2010 will also see the launch of a couple of new concept courses that have been in the pipeline for quite some time now – so keep checking the website.
Helping with disaster relief...
During the summer Ben and Lisa have been busy overseas delivering a seminar in Istanbul about 'Contemporary Bushcraft', and providing wilderness skills training in the stunning Turkish mountains for the disaster relief team at GEA – a countrywide voluntary Search & Rescue Agency. Having just about survived their incredible hospitality, we would like to thank them for their generosity in introducing us to Turkey’s rich culture and fascinating history! You can read all about their great work here.
Ben and Lisa recently spent a week on the North coast of Scotland teaching the staff at Wind things! all about costal bushcraft - from net and basket making to setting long-lines and seashore edibles. Wild things! provide environmental education programmes that inspire young people to develop a greater sense of ownership, care and appreciation of their natural heritage - check them out here.
Northern Wilderness Adventure...
In January 2010 we will once again joined forces with Alexandra & Garrett Conover (world renowned winter travel specialists) for a second winter skills snowshoe expedition. This is the first time we've announced the new course and already there are only four places left...
This Two-Week course is excellent value at £1,495 with no compromise on quality (this exc. flights & VAT, but includes all catering, vehicle transfers and specialist equipment loan). With four expert instructors, the student to instructor ratio is 2:1, allowing us to really inspire and educate, as opposed to entertain. You will truly learn the art of self-sufficient winter travel, learning to read ice, pack sleds and camp comfortably at thirty below. There is also plenty of time to learn advanced skills such trail bannocks, forging crook knives on the trail and tracking the furry denizens of the North.
So if you would like to join us on the winter trail this January - Place your deposit now to secure a place...
Good luck Matt!
Matt Upson has just led his last course for a while as he begins to prepare to start his Msc in Conservation & Forest Protection at Imperial College London at the end of next month – Good luck Matt!
Enjoy the harvest!
We hope you are all looking forward to a great autumn of learning new skills and foraging for wild foods. It already looks like a promising year for the soft fruits and wild berries and fingers crossed for a little more late summer sunshine to kick-start the fungi! Happy hunting…
As always, thanks for reading - Keep it real,
The Woodsmoke Team.